Wise, A-Alike as one plus one born two. Two tiny jewels that regenerate in the crown, the knowledge of self and the knowledge of the people. All to make a maker the profound ruler, the one that will build a greater path for the people. Simple mathematics for a difficult life. A righteous path for a savage people. The contrast of currents colliding, making the weather that tests the mettle. He will exist whether the thunder of the metal settles 85 into submission or the strides of staining rain seed a fifth of a few to insight. There will be the ruler self created that has understanding from all fronts for all climates drawn.
So front face to the Arts of reality that save an oppressed people storm to storm with a salute to a ruler creating for the people. Many of us Black and Brown Brooklyn brothers were raised in homes helled in between blocks, another many were reared alone on, warring on its corners and a rare amount are completely nurtured on the streets themselves. Cared by those careless of countless things, kept by those unkempt and often saved by those past saving, the hypocrisies we fear were the contradictions East New York’s Whyz Ruler embraced to enlightenment.
An enlightenment that cultivated in the elements and extends to the care of his people from the lowest places, promoting their highest faces. As an MC, he champions the cause and chronicles hell through some of J-Love’s ideal breaks on his debut LP, He Exists (the ONLY #ArtOnArt #ScienceOnMusic review HERE). As a producer, the rugged work he will share with us has just begun. As an artist of the people, our build will attest to all of his existence as Whyz Ruler…
SUNEZ: How did you get a knowledge of yourself?
WHYZ RULER: I was raised partially by a brother named Moses Powell. He had me practicing in mosques since I was four years old. I was around Islam from young. My mother used to be in the street brother and used to have me out, playing drums in bars and all kinds of crazy stuff. We would pass his school which was in East New York (Brooklyn) and he was like, ‘Sister! Leave him with us while you do your thing.’ She did and that got me into Islam. Later on in life, being in East Medina (East New York, Brooklyn) in those days, there were a lot of Gods out there. One day, a brother saw me have a fight—a brother named Unique—and stepped to me with it. He asked me, ‘where you from? What’s your background?’ I told him I was Cuban, Black and Honduran. He started enlightening me, Lord. He got sent to the essence (died) years ago.
But what happened was, I used to mess up. I’d go eat McDonalds, eating swine, I wasn’t studying. I involved myself in the Nation (of Gods and Earths) for the wrong reason. Back then I was maybe knowledge understanding (13), knowledge culture or freedom (14 years old). I just came back from Florida because I was sent there for being so bad when I was young. I got involved more for the group thing, like a gang. I didn’t know what the hell I was dealing with, Lord. The God Unique used to stay on me saying, ‘I like you fire.’ But every time I messed up and back then they gave you a universal beat down. It was more of a physical thing. We used to war with the Zulus and all that stuff back in the days. Instead of physically getting at me, he made me type up all the lessons for his students. By just writing them over and over again it started sinking deeper in me.
Then one day, I’m listening to a Bob Marley song. I may have been knowledge equality (16 years old) around (19)86. He said something like, ‘they got us thinking there’s a devil in the ground or a God in the sky’ (“Most people think Great God will come from the skies/Take away everything/And make everybody feel high/But if you know what life is worth/You will look for yours on earth…” – “Get Up, Stand Up” Burnin’ 1973 LP by Bob Marley and the Wailers). When I heard that everything I’ve been typing up kicked in. I’m thinking this is just a hood group, a gang. Then I hear Bob Marley say that, being Cuban and being tight with the Jamaican brothers. I have a lot of family that’s Jamaican, I learned their culture. The devil attacked us with different levels of ignorance. So you and I might not be able to see our brotherhood with each other. Or you a so-called African and give you a different type of ignorance, a more extreme level of it, change the language, all kinds of things to separate us. Bob Marley helped me come to that first understanding. All what brothers been telling me since I was four. Moses Powell, Charlie Sparrow, many great Black men in my life that saved my life. I still walk with their lessons. That’s how I came into the Nation (of Gods and Earths) exactly, God.
SUNEZ: That’s a crazy story.
WHYZ RULER: I’m just happy to be here to say it [laughs].
SUNEZ: You are from the strongest root of MCing in all of Brooklyn, that area of East New York that we may also say is surrounded by Brownsville and Bed Stuy. It is such a treasured area of strife and creative life that has bred some of the greatest MCs ever, an MC’s NBA. How do you come with the daring to also MC around so much talent and do it exceptionally?
WHYZ RULER: I respect the skills but how would [Michael] Jordan look at that question. I respect the skills but I don’t believe it compares. I’m not saying I’m better than anybody but I’m at least eye to eye with them, if not better. What made me start rhyming, God, was dealing with negativity. I went to Tower Records and I looked at their top 20 list. I couldn’t satisfy myself with anyone on the list except for maybe the top one or two. The way they were talking was my lifestyle. I know these guys are nice but I’m really living it. I know all these guys from East Medina (East New York), Bed Stuy and Brownsville. I know all of them. They know me also and I was really doing what they were talking about. I would let them know this. ‘I’m on your heels. I’m going to start rhyming. I’ma tear y’all up.’ I was upset that Hip Hop had a top 20 and most of them were lying. I said to myself, ‘I gotta get in this.’ I’m gonna let them know what really goes down out here. At that time I had a certain understanding of my culture but I wasn’t free yet. I was still trapped in my mind.
SUNEZ: Did you have rhyme books then?
WHYZ RULER: I started off writing then I got into the off the head.
SUNEZ: When did you start making the beats?
WHYZ RULER: We were a group called Ill Cipher with [Wu-Element producer] True Master. I [learned I can] do this beatmaking for myself. At the time I already had knowledge of self. I’m not one to sit around. My next thousand dollars I got, God, I went and got a keyboard. I sat down with it and the instruction booklet would be with me everywhere. I was keeping it up with the pace that was promised.
SUNEZ: Now I was surprised to see you getting a whole LP of production from J-Love when you I heard you had the talent to produce a whole album. “Iron God Chamber” on Masta Killa’s Made In Brooklyn LP was one of that strong LP’s best.
WHYZ RULER: First time I sampled was on that track. If you listen you’ll hear clicks and pops. The first time I ever sampled in my life. Same mix down and everything is what you hear on the album. They couldn’t do anything with it when I gave it to them. So they just took it like that.
WHYZ RULER: I was in the process, and still am, of doing a self-produced album. J-Love happened to be the first person to ever have “Iron God Chamber” on a mixtape. I couldn’t answer you if you asked who’s got the hottest song. I love my Hip Hop and I love what I like. That other stuff is like–what’s useful and what’s not useful? Most of that other Hip Hop is not useful to me. In building up I was thinking how do I get my network larger to live off this instead of getting a justice cipher born [job] and also do this. I was a train operator before I started doing this but I left it. I saved two years of money and I left it. I said, ‘I can’t work here anymore.’ I felt like I was dying every day. So J-Love being the first person that put “Iron God Chamber” on a mixtape. I asked the brothers that knew about him like my brother Victorious. That was the other brother in Ill Cipher. I learned he was already in the game. I sought him ought and give him his dap for putting my track on his mixtape. At the same time building my network, I was first an MC then a producer. Now to get my tracks to more well-known artists all I know is who I know from the Gods like Masta Killa is the God from East Medina. But I’m more than just this. I produced some things for J-Love for Meyhem Lauren and Action Bronson. I did about three of the joints on Meyhem Lauren’s Self Induced Illness (“Analyze The Elements,” “Barbaric Madness”, “The Geneva Conference”). J-Love stepped to me and offered to produce an album for me. I thought about it thinking I didn’t need his help because I could do it all myself. But I realized that he’s the mix tape king and his work ethic is crazy. I do work with him he’s going to put it everywhere, more than I can do right now. All while I stack my tracks, pick out the best, feed who I want to feed while I use my MC skill to build my network and meet more artists. It was all a plot and a plan, God. Now I’m pushing my production as we speak. This album that’s out. I finished another one and I also have a group album done with J-Love.
SUNEZ: Now, how did the theme of He Exists come to be?
WHYZ RULER: I had a vision of what I wanted to do now that I had a knowledge of self. Somehow or another I wanted to make it magnetic to those who are seeking the truth somehow. To say “He Exists.” Other so-called religions use that term. So even if people didn’t know what I was dealing with in the Nation (of Gods and Earths), I could put a shirt on and say, “He Exists.” A Christian or anyone their interest would be sparked. With the beats, being a producer, I just had to fit my idea and keep it knocking. Some of the tracks I see are difficult for other MCs to spit over so I would say, ‘give me that one or let me get this one.’ Show them how to eat them up. Or those for the kick and snare because as a producer I could hear that when it would get mixed and mastered down it’s going to sound crazy in the system. I had ideas for songs already and might think, ‘that vibration is bringing out that theme in me. That’s a similar A-Alike theme to the song that I have written. That’s marriage right there. The certain words I’m using have a certain frequency and so does the music. They match sometimes so I’ll match the frequencies and send it out. Like with the chakras, you free them up. With the bass right it’ll make you move. You say a certain word with a certain frequency at the same time with the bass it’s unstoppable.
SUNEZ: And it’s very well planned and structured.
WHYZ RULER: I wanted to speak to the masses before I speak to my A-Alikes. I say it on the album as jungle talk but I say it for a reason because they’re not going to recognize it. If I speak to an alcoholic and I’m not a drinker, he’s gonna say, ‘get the fuck outta here!’ So I may take a sip with them to speak with them. For them to know what I’m saying. I won’t go everywhere with them but I’ll take a sip. They’re just going to have to handle that. [laughs]
SUNEZ: [laughs] And you ordered the track sequencing yourself?
WHYZ RULER: I had about 80 percent of the say with that on purpose. I really respect a DJ’s ear and J-Love’s been doing it so long. He has a damn good ear.
SUNEZ: The tracks blend so well and work with your accelerations. Your MCing often picks up speed as the song goes on. Almost like you change the meter as you go.
WHYZ RULER: That comes from writing back then when there were no cds or cassette tapes or walkmans. There was just slow jams on the radio. I didn’t want to wake my mother at night either so I wrote to that or whatever was on the radio. I would write and rhyme to slow jams. As the tempo gets put up, I found a way to fit words my way. I think it comes to writing and spitting to slow jams at first.
SUNEZ: Tell me about “Misled”
WHYZ RULER: The youth. I grew up– at four years old I was playing drums in the park for strippers. Whores taught me how to ride a bike. Pimps taught me how to ride a motorcycle. Moses Powell taught me how to run in these streets, God. I been in crack houses. I know them personally. I’ve saved some of their lives. They’ve saved my life. I was selling drugs and such and I would sit with fiends for hours. I would say, ‘keep your money. How did you get here like this?’ A dope fiend taught me how to play chess. This was when I was a little boy. I could see through their eyes somewhat. I knew Gods and graffiti partners from thirteen years old using heroine. Young thirteen year olds—I seen some crazy shit. And I have children and I listen to these guys show me and tell me. I worked with them as partners in this hell. I was as bad as them. I was just the other half. At the time I just didn’t know it. I learned so much about the devil’s tactics that I speak to the devil. I know who he is. He’s got no ins on this. Anytime I’ll behead him in a heartbeat. And I end the track like that abruptly. I know I’m speaking on something they’re listening to, on something that the devil is dealing with. I danced with the devil from coming up.
SUNEZ: That’s peace, God.
WHYZ RULER: When speaking to these wild motherfuckers. Those are our people, these wild beasts. They got to know you bad but they got to know that God is the baddest in your game and any game. Coming up how I came up, how am I supposed to save people that are like me? They only know one language.
SUNEZ: Going through all that, most lose the love for the people and never come back. How did and do you keep that love so strong? If you lost it, how’d you get it back?
WHYZ RULER: From four years old, these are the people that raised me. My Mom was in the street. Women that I would just meet would raise me. People helped me, God. Then when I came to that supreme understanding of who I am and of who we are. And going through it in such a way even though I can’t judge as every hell is hot. I can’t say my life was tougher than the next man. If you’re going to tell me that my fire is cooler than yours—if you’re going through it, you’re going through it. And I was raised by women so I think it helped me a lot in my spiritual side. Many of women’s memories stay in the emotional side but I found a way to take it further from the men in my life. I’ve always been genuine and I mean it. I’m serious about it and it’s embedded deeply in me. One of the first lessons my momma taught me was to never step over somebody. If you come to Bed Stuy or East New York with me, you’ll see a lady with two teeth in their mouth with a needle out of her hand. When she sees me, she’ll yell out, ‘Peace Whyz!’ from a block away. Homeless people will be like, ‘you alright?’ And then I’ll just say, “Eyes and ears. I just need your eyes and ears.” Out in the Bronx, they used to call me Santa Claus because I used to work out in the Botanical Gardens and take the food that was untouched. Big giant garbage cans that I could barely carry. By the time I got home I’d have one can empty but I’d give the rest out in my neighborhood. I am the people and the people are me. That tree—that’s me too. All the elements around us—that’s me. We have a certain connection and you just gotta understand that connection. What is that connection? A lot of us are lost and some of us are not. It’s my duty. I’m blessed to be saved many times.
I came up with my Honduran side of the family and they are mainly from a place called Roatán. That’s where they put all the Black Hondurans away and all the so-called criminals and unwanted. My family got here because the Spaniard boats would go past the island to Honduras. My family and a lot of other people would go pirate the damned ships and take all their stuff. My grandfather got enough money to bring their whole family and another family to this country. It’s in my blood to be for the people. That’s why I’m so honored to meet you. Look at the job you’re doing and people like that are always going to have a brother in me.
WHYZ RULER: And also, these people will get tired of you and then go follow these snakes that don’t give a fuck about you. So I let them know that I care about them but not like a friend but I will beat your ass like a father. I care for them like a father, a brother. You may have a fight with your father but you still love him. I don’t believe in friendship. We’re brothers or we’re not. I got a hole in my back from a good friend so the hell with all that. We’re A-Alike or we’re not. I believe we give up that power too easy as an artist. We let them go ahead and go over there. Show those people who they’re following and what they really are. Dudes is soft, their chumps and they’re misleading them. Prove it and then give the people the option to follow. If you want to follow after you after you know he’s a chump or he’s going to use you that’s where you belong. I gotta let it be known. You’re not going to walk away from me thinking I’m going to give up. I’m harder than that guy and he can’t do anything to me. He’s a liar and a snake. The devil’s a weak and wicked person—in that order. Weak so he gotta be wicked. A strong man will look you in the eye. Weak nigga gotta be wicked to get you. I describe them in that way and if they want to still go then they go. It wasn’t meant for me.
SUNEZ: The next work from you, what’s the theme you will continue with?
WHYZ RULER: That’s a good one. I still haven’t completed it. The first one, He Exists. Let that be known. Who is that ‘He that exists now’? So somewhat I’m going further into that. Now, who am I? Who is this person? And I’m taking them from—On the first album I told them about some of the hells, the Love, Hell and Right, the passages that I went through. Now I want to show them some of the intricate tools I’ve used to get from there to where I’m at now. But in a way that’s clear to anybody. Like water, so anybody can drink it. I want to take them from He Exists. First of all, who is this He. Then I want to show them that He is in all of us. He is you. But I’m going to speak for you. I’m going to talk about you and who you are. Using Christianity as example, why is suicide, the killing of self, the only unforgivable sin. Who is this person? He’ll forgive you for anything you do but killing self. So who is this self? He exists and who is this He and who are you? How important are you that God would love you so much to make you in his image? I won’t use my language as much, the language of my Nation. I’m pretty much stuck with it because that’s how I talk but I do my best to speak in their language. Why does God love you so much? Why did he pick you? To spark these questions subliminally to the listener.